About Performa Institute

Performa Institute is a year-round think tank that includes public programs, conferences, online and print publications, and a repository of performance scholarship and documentation. Performa Institute initiatives provide important contributions to the field of contemporary art through the development of scholarship about performance and the role of this work in shaping the history of 20th and 21st century art. Through the Performa Institute, we foster learning, critical discourse, and deeper engagement in performance. The Performa Institute presents a range of in-depth programs for the presentation and exploration of ideas and the exchange of research and knowledge, with a focus on the study of history and on forging a new intellectual culture surrounding contemporary art. The Performa Institute asks artists, curators, and writers to function as educators across disciplines. While we have presented public programs since our inception, the Performa Institute was launched during Performa 11, which formalized and coalesced our program offerings that complement and inform the Performa biennial.

During Performa 17, the Institute’s exciting line-up of artists talks, workshops, conversations and experiments at the Performa Hub are anchored by three major undertakings: two conferences on Performa’ archives and performance and architecture, respectively, and an extended, wide-raging residency by the Kenya-based literary network, Kwani Trust.

The first week of the biennial sees the kick-off of Forever and A Day: Archiving Performa, a daylong conference that poses the challenge of imagining a comprehensive performance archive to artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and scholars. In our second week, the Circulations curatorial platform on architecture and performance convenes in a day-long program of talks, screenings, conversations, and performances with an international group of architects, scholars, and artists to address how performance can serve as a radical tool to rethink the discipline of architecture. The final week of the Performa Hub concludes with the residency of Kwani Trust, a Nairobi-based network of publishers, writers, and editors. Kwani Trust will create an environment at the Performa Hub, one used to host Everyone is Radicalizing, a divergent, stimulating program of discussions, oral histories, video screenings, and photo essays that take on concepts including as terror, insecurity, violent extremism, and radicalization.

Please continue to check online for the full schedule of our exciting Institute offerings.

Organized by Performa Curators Adrienne Edwards and Charles Aubin, Lydia Brawner, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow, and Marc Arthur, Research and Archives.